(WASHINGTON, D.C., 5/19/11) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today said that President Obama’s speech this afternoon on the “Arab Spring” freedom movements in the Middle East and North Africa sets the right tone but needs to be translated into policies and actions.
SEE: Text of Obama speech on the Mideast, North Africa
Obama presents Mideast peace vision to Arab world (Reuters)
Representatives of the Syrian and Libyan American communities joined other leaders and members of the D.C.-area Muslim community to watch the address live at CAIR’s national office on Capitol Hill and share their reactions.
Those who watched or spoke following the president’s speech included CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad, Naeem Baig of the Islamic Circle of North America, Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, Mohammed Elsanousi of the Islamic Society of North America, Mouaz Moustafa of the Libyan Council of North America, and Louay Safi of the Syrian American Council.
In a statement, CAIR’s Awad said:
“We appreciate President Obama setting the right tone by applauding the recent freedom movements across the Middle East and North Africa, but the true test of our nation’s commitment to freedom and human dignity will be in translating this speech into actions and concrete policies.
“It is significant for the president of the United States to support the massive popular demonstrations for freedom and self-determination in the region, particularly since our country has supported some of the dictators who have been and are oppressing their people.
“The president made the important point that all people deserve human dignity and self-determination, and we support his intention to defend those universal rights.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org